'Guys and Dolls' is a grade-A effort Musical: The Moonlight Troupers put on a near-Broadway-caliber production at Anne Arundel Community College.

November 19, 1998|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Moonlight Troupers' "Guys and Dolls," which opened last weekend at Anne Arundel Community College, is closer to a Broadway show than a community college production in terms of the talented cast, skilled directing, great staging and lively orchestra in the pit.

Robert F. Kauffman, director and head of the AACC drama department, has assembled an excellent cast and crew to bring to life the colorful gamblers, gangsters, missionaries and showgirls from Damon Runyon's stories, and shows them off to great advantage.

Little can match the excitement of a full orchestra striking up the overture to a tuneful Broadway classic, and this 23-piece ensemble under the direction of Raymond Ascione does justice to Frank Loesser's score.

Severna Park High School senior Lauran Taylor makes an exciting Moonlight Troupers debut as Miss Adelaide, who has been engaged to Nathan Detroit for 14 years, but can't get him to the altar. She lights up every scene with her comedic skills, command of the songs and memorable dancing.

Jason Vellon as Detroit, the gambler who keeps stringing Adelaide along, is particularly strong as an actor, especially in his gambling scenes, but his singing skills are not up to his acting skills.

Robert Reichert gives us a strong portrayal of Nathan's gambling buddy, Sky Masterson, who woos mission "doll" Sarah Brown on a bet, then falls in love with her. Broadneck High School senior Anna Roberts displays a lovely singing voice and impressive dancing skills as the missionary who lets her hair down with "Sky in Havana."

Another Moonlight Troupers debut of interest is Pat Roberts, Anna's mother, as Gen. Matilda Cartwright, head of Save a Soul Missions.

Joe Folger and Don Becker as Nicely-Nicely Johnson and Benny Southstreet, two horse players, deliver such great tunes as the "Fugue for Tinhorns" -- "I got the horse right here/His name is Paul Revere" -- and "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat" in rollicking style.

Choreographer Verena Keller-Demack, set designer Joy Ajello, Ruth Capobianco, the choral director, and lighting designer David Warehime all contributed to this near-Broadway-caliber production.

The show will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Pascal Center on the Arnold campus. Tickets are $9; $8 for senior citizens and groups; and $7 for community college students and employees.

Information: 410-541-2457.

Pub Date: 11/19/98

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